She became the face of Italy’s earthquake: Sister Marjana Lleshi, blood staining her veil as she texted her family and friends in her native Albania that she was alive.
In an interview Thursday at the mother house of her religious order, the 35-year-old nun recounted how she thought she would die when her convent walls collapsed. She texted her friends asking that they pray for her soul, only to be rescued by a man she has called her “angel.”
Now safe, Lleshi says she wants nothing more than to go to next week’s Rome canonization of Mother Teresa, the ethnic Albanian nun “who gave hope to those who didn’t have any.”
Lleshi was sleeping in the Don Minozzi convent beside the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix in Amatrice when the quake struck at 3:36 a.m. Wednesday. She had been there, with six other sisters, caring for five elderly women. Her order, the Sisters of the Handmaidens of the Lord, runs nurseries and homes for the aged.
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